5:02 pm - Tuesday November 3, 2015

Chinese hackers go after U.S. workers’ personal data

92 Viewed Gautam Comments Off on Chinese hackers go after U.S. workers’ personal data
Chinese-Hackers

Federal authorities are investigating a breach of the computer networks of the Office of Personnel Management, which stores detailed data on up to 5 million U.S. government employees and contractors who hold sensitive security clearances.

Authorities have traced the intrusion to China, but it is not clear whether the hackers worked for the government, said a U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

So far, no personal data appears to have been stolen, according to OPM spokeswoman Nathaly Arriola. A U.S. official said the data is encrypted.

Arriola said that the OPM and the Department of Homeland Security were alerted to the breach in mid-March through an automated monitoring system. The intrusion apparently was detected early enough that a DHS computer emergency readiness team, working with the agency, was able to block the intruder and minimize the harm.

The Chinese military has waged a persistent, more than decade-long cyber-campaign to steal all manner of information — from military weapons designs to proprietary data on advanced technologies to insight into government policies — from the computer networks of the U.S. government and its contractors as well as other from other western governments and companies.

News of the breach, first reported by the New York Times, came as senior U.S. officials met in Beijing with their counterparts for the annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Secretary of State John F. Kerry said he had been notified of the report only after the dialogue had finished, but he said he had raised the general issue of Chinese targeting of U.S. systems and been “very clear” that it was an area of concern.Federal authorities are investigating a breach of the computer networks of the Office of Personnel Management, which stores detailed data on up to 5 million U.S. government employees and contractors who hold sensitive security clearances.

Authorities have traced the intrusion to China, but it is not clear whether the hackers worked for the government, said a U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

So far, no personal data appears to have been stolen, according to OPM spokeswoman Nathaly Arriola. A U.S. official said the data is encrypted.

Arriola said that the OPM and the Department of Homeland Security were alerted to the breach in mid-March through an automated monitoring system. The intrusion apparently was detected early enough that a DHS computer emergency readiness team, working with the agency, was able to block the intruder and minimize the harm.

The Chinese military has waged a persistent, more than decade-long cyber-campaign to steal all manner of information — from military weapons designs to proprietary data on advanced technologies to insight into government policies — from the computer networks of the U.S. government and its contractors as well as other from other western governments and companies.

News of the breach, first reported by the New York Times, came as senior U.S. officials met in Beijing with their counterparts for the annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Secretary of State John F. Kerry said he had been notified of the report only after the dialogue had finished, but he said he had raised the general issue of Chinese targeting of U.S. systems and been “very clear” that it was an area of concern.
The hacker could know virtually “every single person who is cleared in the U.S,” said Jacob Olcott of Good Harbor Consulting, a cyber-risk-management company, and a former counsel for the Senate Commerce Committee. “So when they want access to the Energy Department program on such and such, they’ll say, ‘Who do we know there? Let’s send a spearphishing e-mail to get access to their computer.’ ”

U.S. government networks are assaulted daily by hackers — including more than 100 foreign intelligence agencies — trying to breach computer defenses, according to U.S. officials.

The Chinese have had some success. In 2006, Chinese hackers breached the system of a sensitive Commerce Department bureau, forcing it to replace hundreds of workstations and block employees from regular use of the Internet for more than a month. A few months before that, Chinese hackers broke into State Department computers.

In recent years, hackers have penetrated e-mail and other systems at the Defense Department, the Navy and the Environmental Protection Agency. Last year, hackers stole personal data from more than 104,000 people from an Energy Department system.

“This wasn’t the beginning or end of this particular mission,” said Olcott, referring to the attempt on the OPM system. “You have to think of this as another part of a long-term effort to collect data on U.S. government initiatives.”

Click here to submit your review.


Submit your review
* Required Field

Don't miss the stories followIndiaVision News and Information and let's be smart!
Loading...
0/5 - 0
You need login to vote.
Filed in
german-chancellor-angela-merkel

Germany orders US intelligence chief out of country

china-bus-accidentjpg-e67311bd3bdbbce1

11 dead in kindergarten bus accident

Related posts